05/16/2013 12:05 pm ET

Artist Tracey Emin: Critics Are Harsher Because I’m A Woman

Vanity Fair

She is not known for subtlety--in either her work or her personality--but the prominent, often brow-raising British artist Tracey Emin's latest sculpture, a single bronze bird perched atop a 13-foot pole in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, is just that: unassuming. The Lehmann Maupin gallery, which launched the installation this past Friday in collaboration with the Art Production Fund and White Cube, also opened a contemporaneous exhibition, "Tracey Emin: I Followed You to the Sun," earlier this month, and her first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. will open at Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art in December. She is one of Britain's most famous living artists and ranks among the most successful female artists in history, serving as one of just two women on the faculty of London's Royal Academy of Arts. Emin gained celebrity in the 90s for such bold and scandalous exhibitions as "Everyone I Have Ever Slept with 1963--1995" at the Royal Academy in London in 1997 (a tent that she appliquéd with individuals' names), and My Bed (she exhibited her own unmade bed, strewn with used condoms and dirty undergarments) at the Tate Gallery in 1999, which shortlisted her for the prestigious Turner Prize. As she is about to turn 50, Emin now takes a breath to reflect on a brilliant, at times notorious, high-profile career.

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